Suit filed over drug brand name

  • 2003-05-08

The French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Synthelabo has asked a Lithuanian court to ban the local drug producer Endokrininiai Preparatai from using the "Nospanas" brand name on its products because it is too similar to the French brand name of "No-Spa."

Sanofi-Synthelabo's suit, which was filed in the Vilnius District Court, is the first case in Lithuania in which a pharmaceutical company is seeking a ban on the use of a trademark similar to the brand name of a drug, said a local public relations company.

Sanofi-Synthelabo says that today No-Spa is one of the most popular pain-killers in Lithuania.

According to the results of a survey carried out by the public opinion company Baltijos Tyrimai (Baltic Surveys), 86 percent of the Lithuanian population know the No-Spa brand name, and 48 percent have known it for 10 years or more.

"Under Lithuanian law, Endokrininiai Preparatai has the right to produce a generic version of our drug No-Spa," said Evaldas Aldosinas, head of the marketing unit at Sanofi-Synthelabo's representative office in Lithuania.

"But we object to our competitors using our good reputation and copying the No-Spa brand name."